18 February 22 | Lisboa
Statute for Professionals in the Area of Culture

Decree-Law 105/2021 approves the Statute for Professionals in the Area of Culture.

Published on 20th November 2021, Decree-Law 105/2021 approves the Statute for Professionals in the Area of Culture, applying to professionals in the performing arts, audio-visual, visual arts and literary creation, engaged in an authorial, artistic, technical-artistic or cultural mediation activity.

The Statute is divided in three essential parts: (i) the registry of professionals in the field of culture (RPAC); (ii) contractual arrangements for employment and service provision; and (iii) the social protection scheme.

The RPAC is aimed at the individual identification of professionals in the field of culture as well as structuring and statistical identification of the cultural sector, for the subsequent definition of public policies for professional and technical valorisation, support and other public benefits. The registration is optional but only registered professionals can benefit from the social protection scheme established in the Statute.

Additionally, the Statute regulates the various forms of cultural activity, covering both the employment contract and the service provision contract.

Where employment contracts are concerned, the diploma reasserts individual and collective rights and duties of the professionals in this field and the respective employers resulting from the Labour Code, while taking into consideration the specific features of the cultural sector.

Specific rules on notions such as the work place, working time and working hours are also introduced, tailored to each area of culture and granting more flexibility.

Where service provision contracts are concerned, both parties have a reciprocal obligation to provide relevant information regarding the contract. Supplementary deadlines for the payment of the services provided and for the cancellation of performances are also set, and in the event of non-compliance, interests for late payment or a compensation is required, depending on the case.

In addition, the Statute establishes a specific system for the supervision and regularisation of situations constituting false services and the presumption of an employment contract to avoid cases of false contracts.

Finally, a special system of social protection covering all the registered professionals with the RPAC is provided for and, for that purpose, a social security fund is created.

Employees bound by very short-term employment contracts and self-employment workers, including individual business owners, will now have the right to the new allowance for suspension of artistic activity, with guarantee and concession periods adjusted to the reality of the cultural field. This allowance is aimed to protect workers in periods during which they are not employed, without requiring them to formally cease their activity with the social security and finance services.

Simultaneously, a longer-term allowance is created for those aged 55 years or more and having registered at least seven years of earnings, starting from the last grant of the allowance for the suspension of artistic activity or unemployment benefits.

The contribution rates to be paid by workers, employers and beneficiary entities are updated and the form of payment and delivery of contributions by self-employed workers to social security is also simplified by withholding the relevant tax in the source.

Furthermore, a commission to monitor the implementation of the Statute, which involves the participation of associations representing the cultural sector and its professionals, is created.

The Decree-Law entered into force on 1st January 2022, providing a transitional regime which establishes the guarantee period for access to the cultural activity suspension allowance shall be counted from 1st July 2022 and professionals in the field of culture may benefit from this allowance as of 1st October 2022.

This diploma revokes Law 4/2008 and determines the revision of the Statute in two years.

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